Juliana’s Academy of Dance hopes for more clarity when it comes to reopening Michigan

Classes limited to 9 students

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – Dance studios are struggling to keep their doors open during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Owners said dance studios shouldn’t be lumped in with other physical activities. They’re hoping for more clarity when it comes to Michigan’s reopening plans.

READ: Whitmer signs directive to strengthen enforcement of Michigan COVID-19 orders

Before COVID-19, there would be about 25 dancers in the studio at Juliana’s Academy of Dance. The studio is about 2,000 square feet. Now, they can only have nine dancers and the Madison Heights business fears they won’t survive the pandemic.

“It’s like a roller coaster. Some days, it’s going good, and the next you’re faced with a new challenge,” owner Michael Lemanski said.

The studio is considered an educational facility. They’ve been holding socially distant summer day camps.

“We’re doing the right things, but it seems like the people doing it right are penalized more,” owner Juliana Pirpinelli said.

As Michigan slowly reopened, businesses had to adapt. These owners said there’s not enough clarity when it comes to dance studios. Some thing they’re the same as dance clubs or gyms.

“My biggest thing is you can’t lump all businesses in one form,” Juliana Pirpinelli said. “I’m not a gym and I shouldn’t be lumped in as a gym.”

READ: Here’s how all 83 Michigan counties are divided into regions in Gov. Whitmer’s reopening plan

Parents are no longer allowed inside the studio. Dancers must have their temperature checked at the door, wear a mask and stay apart. They also created an 18-point guideline for reopening.

“We went through it with a couple of doctors we know. We went through it with the fire marshal, had our lawyer look -- so you can open and be as safe as you can be,” Michael Lemanski said.

As some school districts prepare for in-person instruction this fall, the studio is hoping they can resume classes.

The owners said they’ve created shifts for the dancers. The younger kids come in the morning, followed by an hour and a half deep clean then older dancers come in for evening classes.

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